Thursday, October 01, 2009

Vista v Ubuntu

I had enough of Vista recently. Watching that little blue circle circling and circling and circling. And all the while the hard disk light would flash and flash again and flash once more. But nothing seemed to be happening.

I felt like exacting violence on my laptop and then finally decided that it was time for my workhorse laptop to get the Ubuntu treatment. After all, I'd done it on other machines so why not the machine I work with almost all the time.

The long and short of it is that Ubuntu and Vista are living happily on my ThinkPad and I can boot into either. They both have almost an identical list of applications installed - Apache Directory Studio, MySQL Workbench, Tweetdeck, Filezilla, Password Safe, Firefox, Thunderbird, Picasa, Google Earth, Skype, Open Proj, VMWare Player. I have Open Office rather than Microsoft Office and Kivio rather than Visio; GIMP rather than Photoshop and Pidgin in place of Live Messenger.

Today I was sent a spreadsheet that wouldn't play ball in Open Office so I booted into Vista. What an eye-opener - I hadn't done that in a while and I was so annoyed that I thought I would do it again and run time trials!

Boot-time to logon prompt
Vista: 30 seconds
Ubuntu: 20 seconds

Logon, launch Excel/Openoffice and open spreadsheet
Vista: 53 seconds
Ubuntu: 29 seconds

Vista: 81 seconds
Ubuntu: 9 seconds

Those times are dramatic (especially the shutdown time). But it is even worse when multi-tasking. Launching just a couple of applications within Vista renders it almost impossible to use. I have run CCleaner just 2 weeks ago because the slowness of the machine was so bad. CCleaner made a massive improvement but still not enough to push me towards Linux.

I am looking forward to Windows 7, to be fair. But it would have to be absolutely amazing to convince me to ditch my sleek Ubuntu setup.

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